World Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 27 January 2018 News
World Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 27 January 2018

Here’s the international legal news we covered this week:

A group of five UN Human Right’s experts on Friday asked [press release] Egypt to halt all pending executions following repeated allegations of unfair trials.

The experts are concerned with a “continuing pattern of death sentences handed out on the basis of evidence obtained through torture or ill treatment, often during a period of enforced disappearance.”

This is not the first time human right’s groups have addressed Egypt’s unfair convictions.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Hussein [official website] told [UN press release] the World Economic Forum on Friday that “companies that take action to end discrimination and support LGBTI communities can be a motor for change.”

Zeid explained that companies that are early adopters of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ (OHCHR) Tackling Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, & Intersex People: Standards of Conduct for Business [report, PDF] play a “crucial leadership role in ensuring the dignity and equality opportunities of LGBTI employees in the workplace and beyond.” Zeid was speaking at a panel titled “Free and Equal: Standing Up for Diversity.”

The standards were published in September.

[JURIST] The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) [union website] and Mexico’s National Workers Union (MNWU) filed a complaint [text, PDF] with the US National Administrative Office (NAO) [DOL backgrounder] Thursday claiming that Mexico is preparing to undermine its own labor laws, adding to decades of alleged non-compliance with its labor obligations under the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC) [materials].

The organizations’ primary issue with Mexico’s approach to labor rights are so-called “protection contracts,” a form of collective bargaining agreements that are made between employers and worker unions “without the involvement or even knowledge of the workers the union is supposed to represent.” The complaint alleges that, at times, these agreements are reached before the employer has even hired a single employee represented by the relevant union.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Thursday condemned [press release] the deadly Mosque attack in eastern Benghazi that left 34 people dead and 90 wounded, the majority of whom were male civilians including three young children.

According to a local hospital source, the car bombs exploded within fifteen-to-thirty minutes of each other sometime after 8:00 PM on Tuesday in front of the Baya’at al-Radwan Mosque in the Salmani neighborhood of Benghazi.

The NAACP [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release] Wednesday against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), former acting secretary Elaine Costanzo Duke and current secretary Kirstjen Nielsen after the Trump administration revoked the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian citizens in November 2017.
In a statement celebrating World Leprosy Day, a newly appointed UN human rights expert specializing in leprosy warned [press release] that people with the disease continue to face discrimination and lack of access to medical care.
The European Court of Justice [official website] on Thursday dismissed [judgment] Austrian attorney Max Schrems’ class action privacy lawsuit against Facebook, ruling that Schrems can sue Facebook in his home country as an individual.
The European Court of Justice [official website] on Thursday struck down [judgment] a sexual orientation test used to consider asylum seekers’ applications but upheld the use of experts to determine credibility of claims made in the application.
A Brazilian federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld former president and current presidential candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s corruption conviction, which could prevent him from continuing his election campaign.
A federal judge ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that the Department of Defense [official website] must give the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] 72 hours notice before transferring an American detained abroad in order to allow for a legal challenge before the transfer happens.
The president and first vice president of the European Commission expressed concern [press release] Wednesday about Romania’s progress promoting the rule of law.
A newly declassified investigation has revealed that the US military knew about at least 75 reported human rights abuses by Afghan military and police but used a legal loophole to keep funding the Afghan units.
[JURIST] The EU’s Commission on Competition [official website] on Wednesday announced [official press release] a USD $1.23 billion antitrust fine against US chip maker Qualcomm [corporate website].
Crimes motivated by misogyny should be classified as hate crimes, according to a report [press release] released Tuesday by the Fawcett Society [advocacy website], an organization that campaigns for women’s rights in the UK.

The report is the result of the research their Sex Discrimination Law Review panel conducted on the effectiveness of sex equality legislation in the UK post-Brexit.

The report discusses domestic violence, employment discrimination and a litany of other issues that women face in the UK.

The Hanoi People’s Court of Vietnam on Monday sentenced [press release, in Vietnamese] former politburo member Dinh La Thang to 13 years in prison for embezzlement and violation of state regulations.

Thang had served as an executive for PetroVietnam (PVN), a state run oil corporation.

The Supreme Court of Spain [official website, in Spanish] on Monday refused [judgment, PDF, in Spanish] to reissue the arrest warrant for Catalan ex-president Carles Puigdemont.
[JURIST] Military judge James Pohl ruled [Miami Herald report] on Friday that no wrongdoing occurred when the prosecution destroyed a CIA secret prison, or “black site,” on Pohl’s orders.